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Lower e-toll tariff expected

A lower e-toll tariff rate is expected when Govt. announces the roll out of e-tolling.

E-toll tariffs. Picture: iWitness

JOHANNESBURG - A lower e-toll tariff rate is expected to be announced when government confirms the roll out of tolling in Gauteng.

Eyewitness News on Wednesday reported that the interministerial task team on e-tolls met with cabinet and recommended tolling be implemented in the province.

It is understood e-tolls could be rolled out before the end of the year, while a North Gauteng High Court review of the system is scheduled to take place early in November.

The task team led by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, made its recommendation to cabinet which will have to decide how to proceed.

An announcement on the implementation of e-tolling is expected at a post cabinet briefing later this week or during the Finance Minister's midterm budget speech on Thursday.

The task team has proposed a mix of contributions from the fiscus and e-tolling.

On Tuesday night, Cosatu's Zwelenzima Vavi tweeted: "Today we deadlocked with government on e-tolls - fasten your belts."

Technically, e-tolling cannot be rolled out in November because tariffs must still be gazetted.

But, Eyewitness News has been told it will realistically be implemented towards the end of December or early January as officials expect the high court review to stretch on for some time.

Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) chairman Wayne Duvenhage said government's position did not come as a surprise.

Duvenhage said he expected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to announce further government funding for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme during his medium-term budget speech.

Gordhan previously pledged R5.8 billion to pay off Gauteng's freeways.

Revenue from the system will pay a R20 billion debt incurred to build the largest toll road in the country.